What differentiates the next generation of business intelligence from the previous generation of BI tools?

Below is the trascript of a Webinar hosted by InetSoft on the topic of Next Generation Business Intelligence. The presenter is Mark Flaherty, CMO at InetSoft.

Mark Flaherty (MF): Since the advent of business intelligence over thirty years ago, the challenges businesses face haven’t really changed. Finding the right data, getting the projects organized, getting the priorities straight, learning from the best practices – these are still very tough challenges.

In terms of the business intelligence software, itself, the BI solutions from some of the so-called leading BI vendors consists of many components, sometimes over forty different components from data sourcing, data integration, data modeling, data cleansing, data warehousing, analytics, dashboards, and reporting. Figuring out which ones you need and putting all of those components together is a tough job.

Some of the next generation BI tools and vendors such as InetSoft are addressing this challenge. We offer a single, unified lightweight BI server application that contains all of the data access and information presentation technologies you need. In another area where traditional BI tools have been lacking, usability, there’s a lot of room for improvement.

Using traditional BI tools is still not very intuitive for business users, so next generation BI applications like ours are trying to address this. You still see in a lot of enterprises that BI is the realm of data analysts, so there is a real opportunity to make BI more pervasive, and that's the realm of next generation BI, too. That's what we're aiming to enable.

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What’s driving the demand for this next generation of business intelligence?

Lots of things are driving the demand. Some of the factors are the growth of data volumes that enterprises are building and the need for better insight into consumer behavior or product sales performance. Probably the most important driver is that everything else in our world, other than information, is becoming a commodity. If you think about it, products are becoming a commodity, services are becoming a commodity. So for any business to differentiate themselves is becoming harder and harder.

So businesses all want to differentiate on the use of information. How can they make better decisions? Faster decisions? If they can make a better decision or a faster decision, then they can beat their competitors, even if they are selling the same product.